> Avengers Masterworks Volume 1

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"We don't want to fight you, Hulk! But we can't let you run amok through the countryside! You've got to stay with us...work with us as a team!”

-- Iron Man, page 11

Mjolnir provides some serious cover fire!

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Avengers #3
January 1964 • 25 pages

Script: Stan Lee • Letters: Sam Rosen
Pencils: Jack Kirby • Inks: Paul Reinman

Lineup: Giant-Man • Iron Man • Thor • Wasp

Title: “The Avengers Meet...Sub-Mariner!”

Guest Appearance: Rick Jones, Hulk/Bruce Banner, Sub-Mariner, Teen Brigade

Cameo: Fantastic Four, Spider-Man, X-Men

Gadgets & Technology: Image Projector, Avengers Bathyscaphe

Letters Page: (no letters page in this issue)

Synopsis: Thor, Iron Man, The Wasp and Giant-Man gather around the table to discuss their most urgent matter together: finding the Hulk! To that end, Iron Man unveils the newest piece of Tony Stark's technological artillery, the Image Projector, which projects not only the image of the person but their voice as well. Iron Man projects himself into the Baxter Building, alongside Spider-Man in battle with crooks, and into the X-Men's Danger Room. At each turn, Iron Man is told that nobody knows where the Hulk is.

The Avengers next turn to Rick Jones, whom they contact via ham radio, and the boy decides to go out on a search for the Hulk. He finds him finds him on a rampage out in the desert messing with an old man in a jeep, and cajoles the Hulk to return to his secret cave hideout. There, Rick is able to use the gamma ray machine to convert the Hulk back into his human identity of Bruce Banner. Banner goes to sleep, but over time turns back into the Hulk, waking the weary Rick Jones. The Hulk bashes his way out of the cave, and Rick rushes off to the Teen Brigade, who help him get his message out to the Avengers: the Hulk is loose!

Tony Stark, Hank Pym and Janet Van Dyne, and Dr. Don Blake, all hear Jones' message on their radios, and spring into action as the Avengers! Iron Man is first on the scene in the New Mexico desert, receiving a whalloping sucker punch from the Hulk. Iron Man uses his magnetic resistors to send a surge of boulders at the Hulk, but the green giant uses a cactus to fight back, sending thousands of spiny cactus needles towards him, which nearly do a number on the Wasp and Giant-Man (who has shrunk to the size of an ant for cross-country travel.) The pint-sized duo go subterranean, where they enlist the aid of an army of ants to redirect an underground river which causes the ground under the Hulk to collapse.Though he's not stuck in a watery hole for long! He leaps out of his confines and pursues battle with Iron Man and the newly arrived Thor. The battle between the Hulk and the Avengers ensues through caves and aboard railroad cars before the Hulk finally makes a clean getaway. In fact, he has hidden in the back of a dumptruck, which has unleashed it's garbage haul into the ocean, sending the Hulk swimming out to sea, where he eventually tires and is brought aboard a ship by frightened sailors.

All the preceding events have been witnessed by the watchful eyes of Namor, the Sub-Mariner, who perceives the Hulk to be part of a grand plan to get back at the human race. When the Hulk abandons the ship to take refuge on a deserted island, Namor is waiting for him to propose a plan, but before he can offer it, the two engage in a bit of "fighting foreplay," where the Hulk proves his might on land, but Namor is able to prove his dominance under the sea. Namor's principle is proven the the Hulk, who bands with the Sub-Mariner in an effort to put together their combined might on land and sea against the world...and the Avengers! Namor pilots his command craft to Gibraltar, the rock separating the Meditteranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean, where they can best use their powers, and he sends out a challenge summons to the Avengers.

The Avengers decide to meet the challenge, and race off to Gibraltar in their new Avengers bathyscaph. As they enter into the underground caves under the rock, they receive enemy artillery fire from Namor, who is shooting a WWII howitzer at them. Iron Man is able to repulse the shell right back at Namor and the Hulk. Namor is able to disable Iron Man by firing an emery dust pellet at him. Thor wards the deadly duo away, and Giant-Man is able to find a vacuum cleaner to suck all the emery dust out of Iron Man's casing, bringing him back to the fight.

The team gives chase again, catching up with the Hulk and Namor and engaging in fierce, hand-to-hand combat, which ends up with the Hulk unable to wrest Mjolnir from the hands of Thor. Beaten down, the Hulk turns back into Bruce Banner, who runs away before anybody can see him in his human identity. Alone, Namor, realizes he is no match for the Avengers and makes his escape. The team watches him as he flies away, admiring his valor while at the same time threatened by his hostility.

-- synopsis by Gormuu

-- panel images by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
Avengers #1-10

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

AVG #1 AVG #2 AVG #3 AVG #4 AVG #5
AVG #6 AVG #7 AVG #8 AVG #9 AVG #10


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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